Someone in the layout department at The News & Observer either deserves a lot of credit or simply stumbled onto the perfect placement and headline of a story in today’s print edition. As the US Open, being played at Chambers Bay in University Park WA, starts today, coverage in the newspaper will not be extensive as last year’s event when it was played on the Donald Ross masterpiece, No. 2 at Pinehurst Country Club. However, in today’s newspaper, there are three stories, two placed prominently on the front page of the sports section. The third was staged on the last page of the section along with where the front page stories were continued from page B1.
There’s a nice story about the course—Chambers Bay—itself and how the players are responding to it after playing practice rounds and a discussion of who is favored including mention of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. That is the lead front-of-the-sports page story, and it is accompanied by a column by contributor Ron Green, Jr., who concentrates on the course itself. Ron has a knack for interesting descriptions and in this case comparing the view of Chambers Bay to that of Mars. We assume he’s talking about the planet not the candy bar. When you watch, you'll get a better idea.
Most interesting of the coverage today is a column by Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel who focuses on Tiger Woods who at age 39 is dwindling in ability and in stature within the league. He’s still a top draw for the crowds and the viewing audience at any tournament, but when he shot 85, his highest score ever as a professional, in the third round a couple of tournaments ago, it showed even more than he’s waning. After the 85, Dan Jenkins, probably the best ever golf writer, tweeted, I’ve never shot my age, but congrats to Tiger who did it today: 85. Tiger could fool us all this week and contend, but it’s doubtful.
The story on Tiger was titled, Tiger Woods an afterthought at U.S. Open. Intentionally or not, it was the very last story in The N&O’s sport section today, section B, page 8, at the very bottom of the page. It was appropriately placed, relating the headline and the story to its importance to read, sort of an afterthought. The person who placed it there either has great insight to Tiger, golf and a good sense of humor or just got lucky. In either case, job well done.